Photo credit: headwisewoman.blogspot.com


When I’m going to be hit by a migraine, I know it. Not many migraine sufferers, I read, experience this prodrome stage. I don’t know if I’m glad I go through this premonitory phase or not, because it is not a pretty phase, but then I do not know if I want a full-blown migraine to just spring up on me either. So perhaps I’d take the warning phase.

The thing about experiencing one thing over a long period of time, is that you learn, quite a lot, over that time. You (whether you wanted to or not) become sort of an expert; you understand how some things work in that particular domain, in-depth. The prodromal or premonitory phase of a migraine is the few hours or days before a full-blown migraine hits, and it comes with symptoms like: Fatigue, sensitivity to light, sound and smell, cognitive challenges, muscle stiffness (for me, in my neck and down my shoulders to my arms, aphasia (difficulty in speaking and reading – because, see I can’t think straight! I am not even paying attention.) nausea (coming over you in mammoth-sized waves. Get into a car, and it’s at its worst, because, motion. ugh), difficulty in sleeping, general irritability (because are you expecting all of this to make any person jolly?).

Recently, I read about how migraine prodromes, for some people, come with depression as well. This weekend was an eye-opener for me in this regard. Friday was hectic for me. By the time I got home, I was drained. I was in a lot of pain (never mind that I’d just had a physiotherapy session hours back), and just emotionally flat. I did not sleep well. Or much. When Saturday came, I knew I was having migraine premonitions. My neck was already hurting, the nausea wouldn’t even permit me to drink water, I couldn’t stand any sound at all, I was tired upon waking. And the frustrating bit was, I was already experiencing a flare in general pains from the day before, so a girl really did not need a migraine prodrome. I pretty much ignored it all day and did the best I could with work I needed to get done.

By night time, the aura had set in; my feet were numb. The dull pounding that always starts from my clavicles up my neck and into my head had began. The room had to be dark, and silent. My phone’s screen had to be its dimmest.  It was the umpteenth time I was having such symptoms. I knew what it meant. And knowing did not help me. “Not tomorrow, please” I kept saying over and over. Then it hit me. Are these not making up a recipe for depression? The ongoing symptoms compelling you to isolate yourself in a dark room, anticipating the onset of the full-blown deal. At times when I had to get out of bed to use the bathroom, I could almost not help the zombie-mode. It seemed to have come by default. I took small, slow steps. No sharp movements, no hasty movements, no  unnecessary movements of my head and deep but careful breathing. I became conscious of this and tried to relax. Anxiety had set in. It was not surprising.

What would have been best to do, was to shut down and try to enjoy the quiet and the darkness. But there was an online literary discussion I did not want to miss because of my state, and then there was an ongoing, important conversation I could not just sign out of. So I let the dull light from the phone torment me for another two hours, and then the important conversation took a heartbreaking turn and I wept. So about 40 minutes past midnight, I was not just having a bad time, I was having a bad time at a very bad time.


 This was me:


Girl was not about to move an inch. Girl couldn’t, even if she wanted to. It lasted the entire day, and by Sunday night, I was exhausted, achy and stiff, and definitely not jolly. Thinking of the week ahead, and knowing it will take a few more hours to recover from the rough weekend,  I made efforts to lighten my mood. My baby niece was of great help, as usual. Then I prayed, I breathed. I promised myself that the week will be good, and I turned in for the night.

And so although I woke up tired, I was ready for the week. I acknowledged all the lessons learned. To sum it;

Some times are bad times for bad times. And if you can help it, do not have bad times at such times.



4 thoughts on “MIGRAINE PRODROME AND ANXIETY: Bad Time for Bad Times.

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